I have begun to feel at home at University again.
This semester began so loudly and abruptly it was as though Aragorn was sitting on my chest bellowing “Kill the Orcs! Kill the Orcs!” and accidentally dripping Warg blood on my face. Not that I’d normally complain if such a devilishly handsome, soon-to-be King sat on my chest, but compared to the delights of life in the Cotswolds, anything that’s louder than a lawnmower can sometimes be hard to stomach.
Mmm. Enough said.
“I’m just not cut out for drama-fueled life,” I confessed to my sister during our weekly Skype chat, while my Mum sat in the background, sifting through Dad’s vinyls in her Berghaus fleece and occasionally saying things like, “I want you to buy Jamie Oliver’s new ’15 Minute Meals’ book. You can’t go wrong with Jamie.”
“Yes, you don’t seem particularly cut out for it,” Maria agreed. I had yet to tell her that the extent of my coping mechanism was eating a Fab lolly a day and playing the Buenos Vista Social Club’s ‘Chan Chan’ on a loop.
“I’m going to reduce my life stresses to simply meeting my newspaper and coursework deadlines,” I said decisively.
“Good for you,” Maria said. “Hey, what’s that you’re eating?”
“Nothing,” I said quickly. I put the spoon down on the table. “I was just finishing a yogurt.”
I didn’t mention the yogurt had run out three days ago and I had moved on to the strawberry jam.
Everyone knows this is worth one serving, not four
The past few weeks have actually been very exciting. Lauren, Will and I have been made editors of our university newspaper; a slightly stressful procedure which involved standing in front of 100 students and saying as convincingly as possible, that we really are the best of the bestest best people for the role.
My speech was made slightly less horrendous as Adam, a world-weary Head of Online student, was drinking straight rum from a polystyrene coffee cup next to me and the fumes caused a glorious, relaxed haze of unconcern to form in my brain.
The new roles are taking their toll somewhat. Our new editor has already been photographed lying on the Media Hub’s floor on a pile of rucksacks with the caption, ‘The new editor of Forge Press day #1’. I have been advised to invest in a sleeping bag. Oh joy.
After a weekend of newspaper meetings, writing up patch stories and council meetings, today Lauren and I escaped to Costa where we snaffled The Times (for the crossword) and spread ourselves across three tables, as is our custom.
“I can’t believe how much work we have to do,” I said, eating my cheese and tomato toastie like a starving orphan child.
“Why do you need to worry?” Lauren said writing ‘Oberon’ into the crossword. “You’ve already written one essay. And what happened to you stopping worrying? We both decided you’d stop and now you’ve started again!”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I’m stopping, promise.” Despite being a good head shorter than me, Lauren can’t half scare the crap out of me when she wants to. Will and I have decided that being told off by Lauren is sometimes like having to tell your Mum you broke her favourite mug. Regrettably, there’s no airing cupboard at university that serves as a good hiding place.
“I can’t wait until the next Itchy Feet event,” I said, changing the subject.
“Me too,” said Lauren. “I’m gutted I missed this one.” And we both did a silent, groovy dance, waggling our shoulders and clicking our fingers while the waitress cleaning the table opposite us smirked into her J cloth.
Last week, Will, his flat and I went to Leadmill for Itchy Feet, a night of 1950s music where the girls wear red lipstick and the boys wear braces and you dance ’til you can dance no more.
Buying lipstick for the event was a bit of an adventure for me considering I only know that Maybelline exists because of TV adverts. I stood in Boots for a good half an hour colouring my wrist in various shades of crimson while the pharmacists stood behind the counter making disparaging, clicking noises with his tongue as though I was licking the eye shadows.
I opted for ‘Rasin Shimmer’ which I was assured was not hooker-like at all, curled my hair into what Lauren dubbed a ‘chic’ look and set off.
The night was fantastic; everyone in varying stages of 1950s glamour, with the occasional hard-core dancers stealing the floor.
Will was wearing a tie and a trilby and using the chat up line, “Twist my moustache” which worked surprisingly well. It was like being on the company of a hairy Blues Brother.
We danced solidly for three hours, so enthusiastically in fact, that the sole of my shoe fell off. It was simply the best night.
It’s hard to reach these heights of costume magnificence on a student budget